As a Minnesotan, I feel a tad guilty for complaining about the weather — unless it’s 20 below. But I have to admit that our Seattle-like spring has me concerned.
For starters, my garden is growing too fast. My peonies are long gone, and even the William Baffin roses are on their way out.
And don’t get me started on garden upkeep. The grass (which I can never seem to get to when the sun is shining) is a good 8 inches tall. The dogwoods (which I meant to prune) are as high as an elephant’s eye.
While it’s been a treat not to have to set the sprinklers and haul around hoses, spring showers brought more than supersized growth. They also brought supersized weeds.
Lots of rain early in the season also can set us up for a host of problems as summer rolls along. What can you do if the rains continue, short of standing outside holding an umbrella over your garden? Lots, actually.
• If you have containers with pot plates underneath, remove those plates. (They hold in water, which can rot the roots.)
• Frequent rains can wash nutrients and minerals from the potting mixes in containers. Be sure to feed container plants regularly, especially tomatoes.
• If you have areas of your garden that tend to stay wet, pull back the mulch (if you’ve mulched already) or wait until the soil dries out a bit to mulch.
• Watch for slugs. If you see the telltale sign (thumb-sized bites out of hosta leaves, for example), set out slug traps.
• Crowding plants is a recipe for disease disaster. Consider thinning mildew-prone plants (phlox, heliopsis, asters) to give them some breathing room. □